Library Research Guide
These databases and books can help provide context for historical events and the social context of your books.
They are just a sampling of what K-State Libraries offers. If you need to research a different topic, visit our complete list of databases.
You can locate more books that introduce you to a topic by searching Search It (the search box on the Libraries' home page) for your topic and terms like: encyclopedia, handbook, or dictionary.
1. Collect keywords that concisely describe the topics you are researching. We do this to increase our chances of finding relevant articles, even if the researcher is using different terms from those used in the books or your class discussions.
Start narrow with the person, object, or event from the book. Then add the categories to which they may belong.
Example: Packard --> car
Once you have categories, add synonyms.
Example: Car = automobile = sedan
2. Read the bibliographies and references. Whether on Wikipedia or in an academic journal article, find out what sources the author consulted. These could be relevant to your research, too.
When you find a title that looks relevant, paste the title (just the title) into Search It to see if K-State Libraries owns it. If we do not, we can try to get a copy for you from another library through Interlibrary Loan.
3. Plan to research, write, research, write. Writing and research feed and inform each other. Be sure to plan time to do both, several times.
4. Ask a librarian - we can help you at the planning stage and when you get stuck. We can help you via chat, email, or Zoom. You can talk to me, your librarian, or talk to trained library student employee through our Peer Consultations.
These databases include many reference books about literature. They are a good place to get your feet under you and get an idea about commonly discussed themes in the works you are studying. They also include some scholarly articles, book reviews, author biographies, and even, sometimes, interviews or statements from the authors.
These resources will help with questions about average income, cost of products, and demographics.
These sites offer free access to data. Most are government sources that, in the United States, are charged with collecting data.